Monday, November 13, 2006

Express Bolitas

Analyzing news programs is part of our work at the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. We monitor the news programs of the free air channels and ANC.

One of these programs is Balitang Express, the early evening newscast of the government-sequestered IBC-13. Can’t help but say a few things:

Sure, Balitang Express is produced by IBC-13, which we all know is controlled by the government. If it wants to be more credible to the viewers, however, I think those behind the program should not forget the basic tenets of journalism in reporting – balance and fairness. Personally, I think Balitang Express is more neutral and fair than its NBN-4 counterpart, Teledyaryo. Still, much work needs to be done.

Balitang Express has a regular Mindanao-based correspondent, Julie Alipala, which reports on an almost daily basis. Reports about the Visayas region, however, are nil. Why not get another correspondent based in the Visayas? People might think that the Philippines is made up of only just two regions.

The program’s graphics, hands down, are no match with those in ABS-CBN or GMA-7 news program. Okay, that’s understandable, but please: the program’s chargen and news announcements definitely need some grammar and spelling check ALL the time.

Balita Express reporters have this annoying habit of ending their reports with the line, “(Name of reporter), Nagbabalitaaaaa… Express!” (the reporter somewhat raises his/her voice on the “Express!” part) They really should stop that. What is that? I don’t get why they have to do their signature line that way. It’s not even amusing.

If the heat in the studio is unbearable, it’s perfectly understandable to use an electric fan. But please make it sure that it won’t affect the hairdo of your anchors, or at least, the hair of Ali Atienza. You know those shampoo commercials where the model appears out of nowhere, her hair having a life of its own with the help of a large fan? That’s what happened to Ali in one episode, only with lesser hair movement and of course the movement, purely unintended. (Unless they want Ali to appear in a shampoo commercial). Watching Ali doing his spiel while his hair can be seen going all over the place is both a hilarious and sorry viewing experience. If the program intends to use a fan, please don’t put it in front of the anchors. Or make them use hair gel instead.

And talking about Ali, can someone give him a glass of water (Prozac might go well too) before he goes on-air? Ali goes on air every time looking like a nervous wreck, affecting the way he delivers his reports. If he’s not delivering reports five words a second, he buckles several times. I don’t know if that is intended (the program’s name is Express Balita, isn’t it?), but viewers don’t understand what’s he saying half of the time.

By the way, we know Ali (the son of Manila mayor Lito Atienza by the way) is a presidential assistant on youth and sports, but can you not show him when you do sports stories? I remembered seeing his footage when the program reported on Manila Youth Games a few months back. And oh, it was Ali who cued the viewers to the same report. Talk about having your cake and eat it too.


Anonymous said...

i agree with you bryan, i have been requesting the news and current affairs to assign one in visayas, the problem is "walang budget" its difficult for me to do reports for IBC and write for PDI. Kadalasan my stories are shelved, "uy wag naman negative about the first family," or "come up with something positive about the cabinet or afp."

bryant said...

thanks for visiting ha. if ibc 13 is really serious in making express balita a credible and competitive news program, they should rethink their current direction.

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